More than 100 neighborhoods around New York City have applied for “traffic calming measures,” according to a statement issued by Transportation Alternatives, after Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his new “slow zone” program. The Department of Transportation has so far granted 13 safe zones, which reduce the speed limit in designated neighborhood areas from 30 mph to 20 mph. Speed bumps and additional signage are also being implemented in these zones.
Transportation Alternatives reports a pedestrian has an almost 100 percent chance of surviving a collision with a car moving at 20 mph. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said: “the likelihood of dying after being hit drops from 70 percent to 5 percent if drivers reduce speeds from 40 mph to 20 mph.” The majority of all crashes fatal to pedestrians also take place on neighborhood streets, and speeding is the primary cause of these accidents, taking 45 lives in 2010.
Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White called the decision “a victory for these neighborhoods.”
The DOT implemented the first safe zone in the Bronx last year and has since been taking applications for others. Installation of a safe zone requires approval from the local community board. TA’s Michael Murphy said the decision is also influenced by the rate of traffic crashes in a given area.
“Speeding on our streets is really a matter of life or death,” said Sadik-Khan. Others, however, are more suspicious: “The DOT’s programs seem to be doing everything they can to increase congestion,” said Robert Sinclair, an AAA spokesman.
The 13 approved zones are expected to be installed by 2013, reports am NY.
The locations currently planned are:
* The Bronx: Mt. Eden, Baychester, Eastchester, Riverdale
* Brooklyn: Boerum Hill
* Manhattan: Inwood
* Queens: Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights/East Elmhurst, Auburndale
* Staten Island: New Brighton/St. George, Dongan Hills, Rosebank
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